Working Together for a Common Good
Some team members tend to limit the degree of cooperation they contribute. They feel that in giving more, their skills and competencies are being exploited without any assurance that they will be justly rewarded. Cooperation should be perceived not by the amount of work that is added, but by the degree of necessity or urgency by which it is needed. Values should be based not for a particular member’s benefit but for the entire team.
The benefits of a fruitful completion may not inure to a particular individual but are likely to spread out to the entire components of the organization in terms of sustainability and stability.
Ponder on this brief narrative:
A thousand years ago in Germany, a duke had decided to rebel against his king because he felt he had been unjustly berated and embarrassed for a minor malfeasance. For the duke, it was an unfair treatment, considering that his tax contributions to the kingdom were quite significant.
The people, who worked for the duke along with their spouses and children, stayed on to give support to their noble master, mindless of the soldiers who were just about ready to launch their attack. The king, however, gave instructions that only the men folk would be arrested. The women and children should be allowed to leave the castle unharmed. The king was confident that the castle will eventually run out of provisions and this would force everyone to come out.
However, it seemed that the duke’s castle had enough provisions stored, since everyone still remained inside for quite some time. The king then gave orders that if the duke will not end the siege, the villagers living in one of the Duke’s nearby estate would be harmed by setting their homes on fire.
Before the order could be carried out, the king received a note from the duke’s wife. The duchess, along with the other womenfolk and the children, had decided to leave the castle but would like to seek the king’s reassurance for their safe passage. The letter also came with a request to allow the women to bring out of the castle anything which they could carry on their backs.
The king, of course, acquiesced to the duchess’ plea; after all he had a standing order to the soldiers not to harm the women and children. Besides, the women were capable of carrying only so much on their backs. What’s important is that the king’s soldiers can now launch a full assault against the duke and his men.
The king personally went to the site to make sure that the women and children will be given safe passage. However, the ruler and his soldiers were dumbfounded in seeing the women and their children, as they came out of the castle gates. They were hobbling and staggering under the heavy weight of the burden they were carrying on their backs, as they tried with all their strength to get past the king’s soldiers.
The officers of the royal army were furious at the sight of wives carrying their husbands on their backs, daughters carrying their fathers or sisters carrying their brothers, while the children helped keep the men from slipping off. Although looking greatly embarrassed, the duke and his men hanged-on for dear life, hinged on their women’s backs. The soldiers were just about ready to pounce on them the moment the king gave the orders.
However, the outraged soldiers could do nothing because the king was so amused at the sight of the audacious women, mindless of losing all their aristocratic poise and composures and at the discomfiture of the men on their backs. The king merely laughed at the whole situation and ordered the men to leave the women alone, since he had given his word for their safe passage along with whatever they could carry on their backs.
The tale ends with a note that the duke and his men renewed their loyalty to their king out of gratefulness for his fairness and lack of ruthlessness. Accordingly, the said ruler, King Konrad III had renamed the duke’s stronghold as “The Castle of the Faithful Wives," which up to this day, still exists in the city of Weinsberg, Germany.